Movie Review: 'Creature'


Stop me when this sounds either familiar or even remotely interesting:

Six young idiots on a road trip near the Louisiana swamplands stop into a gas station run by grungy, slobbering scumbags who tell the tale of a legendary crocodile man who is reputed to frequent a nearby cabin. Then someone gets hurt, another person acts like a huge ass, an argument breaks out, people wander off, man-croc pops up to kill the men and maybe do worse(!) to the ladies...

Still with me? Wow.

So the thoroughly obnoxious crew (obviously!) decides to check out the location. And by "check out," I mean visit, make fun of it, wander off, and then get killed in a protracted and thoroughly perfunctory fashion. To borrow an obvious sentiment, there's literally nothing to be found in Fred Andrews' generically-titled Creature that you haven't seen before -- unless you include one of the goofiest man-croc suits ever committed to film. Fair enough: Creature does offer one thing that's new. But even when the title "creature" makes his presence known, there's still no escape from a screenplay that wavers between achingly familiar and painfully silly.

Fair credit to Mr. Andrews for watching self-reflexive horror flicks like Hatchet and then opting to do for monster movies what that one did for slasher flicks (going so far as to borrow its location), but his pacing is way off; the gore is solid but the scares are absent; most of the actors are, let's be kind and say "unprepared;" and whenever things get really dreary (which is often) the flick cuts back to an ostensible subplot in which Sid Haig screams at his slovenly cronies about how stupid they are. Once Creature actually does get down to the stalk / splash / skewer section, there are a few welcome dashes of wit and energy, but for the most part the movie feels less like a welcome return to low-budget monster movies and more like a reason why we don't get more low-budget monster movies. Even on DVD you'll have to be in a good mood to make it all the way through this one.

Leading lady Amanda Fuller is better than the material on hand (and too adorable to even talk about), but overall Creature is one tiresome slog through one familiar swamp. Andrews and his crew clearly have their hearts in the right place, creature-feature-wise, but here's hoping their next project has a little more money and a much better script.